Going to work ill: a meta-analysis of the correlates of presenteeism and a dual-path model

Mariella Miraglia, Gary Johns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

287 Citations (Scopus)
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Interest in presenteeism, attending work while ill, has flourished in light of its consequences for individual well-being and organizational productivity. Our goal was to identify its most significant causes and correlates by quantitatively summarizing the extant research. Additionally, we built an empirical model of some key correlates and compared the etiology of presenteeism versus absenteeism. We used meta-analysis (in total, K = 109 samples, N = 175,965) to investigate the correlates of presenteeism and meta-analytic structural equation modeling to test the empirical model. Salient correlates of working while ill included general ill health, constraints on absenteeism (e.g., strict absence policies, job insecurity), elevated job demands and felt stress, lack of job and personal resources (e.g., low support and low optimism), negative relational experiences (e.g., perceived discrimination), and positive attitudes (satisfaction, engagement, and commitment). Moreover, our dual process model clarified how job demands and job and personal resources elicit presenteeism via both health impairment and motivational paths, and they explained more variation in presenteeism than absenteeism. The study sheds light on the controversial act of presenteeism, uncovering both positive and negative underlying mechanisms. The greater variance explained in presenteeism as opposed to absenteeism underlines the opportunities for researchers to meaningfully investigate the behavior and for organizations to manage it.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-283
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Occupational Health Psychology
Issue number3
Early online date9 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016

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